The general intent of the undergraduate printmaking program is to introduce students to the basic nature of printmaking, both historically and conceptually, and to examine the purpose, function and aesthetics of this art form within the larger scheme of the art world. Students may enter this studio concentration with no prior knowledge of the subject. Through hands-on work, research and invention, students gain insights into an art form that can engage them for the rest of their studio studies. By the time the students graduate, they have a comprehensive understanding of the process and concepts which will enable them to compete for the best jobs and graduate programs available.
The Graduate program in printmaking is designed to further the student's aesthetic thinking, skills, and career goals. Individual and group participation is required in personal tutorials with the faculty and weekly graduate workshops and critiques covering matters of particular concern to printmakers. Bi-weekly critiques with painting and drawing majors are also held to develop a broader view of the arts.
Although the emphasis of the program is on intaglio and lithography, students may pursue work in relief printing, screen printing, photoprint processes, vitreography (prints from glass plates), book arts, mixed mediums and other experimental processes. No style or aesthetic approach is stressed over another. The content and the quality of the student's work become the final measure of achievement. Professionalism is enhanced by participation in the recently developed International Visiting Artist Print Projects - "Alagarto Press," assisting and editioning prints for visiting artists. Students have worked with American artists Hiram D. Williams, Lee Chesney Sr, Kenneth Kerslake, Brooke Cameron, Philip Smith and Martin Kruck, Icelandic artist Valgerdur Hauksdottir, German artist Daniel Hees, and Scottish artists Roy Wood and Sharron Penicaud. There is a newly founded student run organization called the Alagarto Printers Guild that fund-raises and participates with other student run organizations to assist in financing student travels to national conferences, workshops and to continue to support the visiting artist projects. These collaborative endeavors add to their educational background and better prepare the student with problem solving skills needed to succeed in teaching and studio practice.
The main print studios occupy approximately 2137 square feet (two large rooms) on the third floor of the main art building along with a 255-square-foot letterpress shop. While most students work in the main studios, we have a separate cooperative graduate student office/studio facilities that is 1378 square feet, located on campus not far from the art department. This space has worktables, paper storage and an etching press.
Facilities are available for work in intaglio on zinc and copper plate, stone and metal plate lithography, relief printing, silkscreen printing and photo print processes. Equipment includes two large Brand etching presses, a small Kimber etching press, two Takach-Garfield lithographic presses. A vented acid cabinet area, a well equipped darkroom with process camera, photoprint processing equipment, and a fully equipped silkscreen facility. The letterpress shop contains numerous typesetting fonts, a Vandercook letterpress, cabinets and paper storage areas.